Date: March 28, 2012
Contact: Ninth Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office (216) 902-6020
UPDATE: U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian marine safety agencies begin investigations into towing vessel fire
CLEVELAND — The U.S. Coast Guard and marine safety agencies from Canada began their investigations Wednesday into the fire aboard the towing vessel Patrice McAllister near Prince Edward Point, Ontario.
The most severely injured crewmember, the boat’s chief engineer, died in a Toronto hospital Wednesday morning.
His name and the names of the other five people who were aboard the vessel are not being released.
The 105-foot U.S.-flagged vessel was transiting on Lake Ontario from Toledo, Ohio, to a port in New York Tuesday morning when the fire broke out in the engine room.
Another commercial towboat towed the Patrice McAllister to Clayton, N.Y., arriving early Wednesday morning.
The original press release is available here.
As the federal agency responsible for marine safety aboard commercial vessels, the Coast Guard has assumed the lead for the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fire, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has joined the investigation.
The Coast Guard will attempt to identify the cause of the fire and determine if any fire-prevention or protection requirements need to be amended or added to existing regulations for towing vessels.
Since the fire occurred while the vessel was in Canadian waters, personnel from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada and Transport Canada-Marine Safety are also planning to conduct an investigation.
The incident has been classified as a major marine casualty.
http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_ ... ewsIndex=1
U.S., Canadian rescue crews respond to vessel fire in Lake Ontario
BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. Coast Guard marine inspectors are monitoring the U.S.-flagged, 105-foot tugboat Patrice McAllister, which caught fire with six people aboard in the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario about 2 a.m., Tuesday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Buffalo received an alert from an emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the vessel, which provided them with an exact location about seven miles south of Prince Edward Point, Ontario.
A U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue crew responded aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Air Station Detroit, and Canadian rescue crews launched aboard a C-130 aircraft, Griffin helicopter and the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Cape Hearne, a 47-foot Cape Class motor lifeboat from Kingston, Ontario.
One injured crewmember was medically evacuated by Canadian helicopter crew and taken to a hospital in Belleville, Ontario, and was later transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. The other five crewmembers were taken aboard the CCGS Cape Hearne and taken to Kingston, Ontario. Their current conditions are unknown.
A commercial salvage company has been contracted to tow the vessel to the freight dock in Clayton, N.Y., where U.S. Coast Guard marine inspectors will meet it. There are no reports of pollution.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
U.S. and Canadian search and rescue crews regularly respond to emergencies in tandem, allowing for the most effective and expeditious response possible. Such combined, binational efforts help our partner nations accomplish our daily and contingency mission requirements.
For more information contact Lt. Andrew Sweeney, Coast Guard Sector Buffalo, at 716-843-9575.